best skincare products for rosacea

What are the best skincare products for rosacea? Skincare shopping is stressful when your skin behaves… But when everything you put on your skin flares up the redness and brings out acne-like bumps everywhere, stress goes through the roof. You’re tempted not to use anything and hope the flare-up will disappear on its own… But even if the miracle happens and you’re having a good skin day, how do you keep it that way?

Most importantly, what can you do to prevent premature aging without upsetting your skin? Can you exfoliate if you have rosacea? Use retinol? Argh! Fret not, I’ve rounded up the best skincare products for rosacea. Whether you need to soothe redness, fight wrinkles, or protect it from the sun, this shopping list has got you covered:

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that causes redness, acne-like bumps, and rashes. It usually appears on your nose, cheeks, and sometimes around your eyes. “While anyone can develop rosacea, it commonly occurs in individuals between 30–50 years old. Although it may be more likely to develop in those with fair skin, it can also occur in those with darker skin types,” explains Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD.

What Causes Rosacea?

Scientists haven’t figured out what causes rosacea yet. It is believed, though, that genetics plays a part (obviously!). Other causes can include cold or hot weather, drinking alcohol, and eating spicy foods. If you’re suffering from rosacea, these could all be triggers for you and cause another flare-up.

cerave hydrating cleanser

The Best Rosacea Skincare Products

Best Cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($14.99)

The reason cleansing is so harsh on rosacea-prone skin? A lot of cleansers out there use harsh detergents or have a sky high pH that disrupts the skin’s protective barrier, leaving it even more prone to dryness and irritations. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is different. For starters, it’s loaded with ceramides, precious little waxes that strengthen your skin’s protective barrier and keep your skin soft during the cleansing process. Talking about cleansing, it removes all traces of dirt and makeup (even long-lasting foundation) effortlessly without irritating or drying out your skin.

Available at: Boots, Dermstore, Look Fantastic, Sephora, and Ulta


  • Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm ($30.00): This nourishing balm effectively dissolve makeup without stripping the skin’s natural moisture barrier and causingredness or inflammation. Fragrance-free, i’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, including those with rosacea. Available at Boots, Clinique, and Ulta.
  • La Roche Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser ($23.99): A lightweight formula that effectively removes impurities and makeup without stripping away your skin’s natural moisture. Plus, it’s fragrance-free, so it won’t cause any unnecessary irritation. Available at Boots, Cult Beauty, Sephora, and Ulta.

Related: How To Choose The Right Cleanser For Your Skin Type

paula's choice azelaic acid booster vs the ordinary azelaic acid suspension

Best For Rosacea Flareups/Acne Breakouts/Both: The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% ($7.90)

Has your rosacea flared up again? Dealing with both rosace and acne? Want to tackle rosacea and hyperpigmentation at the same time? Azelaic acid has you covered. This multitasker is a must for rosacea-prone skin, especially when you’re dealing with more than one concern at once. Azelaic acid has powerful skin-lightening properties that can fade away dark spots and melasma; it kills the bacteria that gives you acne, soothes inflammation, and reduces erythema and inflamed lesion of papulopustular rosacea. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is a very basic, irritants-free formula that’s perfect for skin at its most sensitive time.

Available at: Beauty BayBoots, Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK, The Ordinary, and Ulta


  • FaceTheory Azeclear A15 Serum (£24.99): This serum is loaded with 15% azelaic acid plus soothing agents like colloidal oatmeal and green tea to reduce redness and irritations. Ideal to treat acne and dark spots in rosacea-prone skin. Available at FaceTheory
  • Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster ($36.00/£37.00): This 10% azelaic acid booster also features 1% salicylic acid, a powerful exfoliant to fight acne. Plus, it has a sprinkle of antioxidants to fight premature aging. It’s best suitable for rosacea skin prone to acne. Available at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Net-A-Porter, Paula’s Choice, and SpaceNK.

Related: How To Deal With Rosacea

bioderma sensibio AR

Best Moisturiser: Paula’s Choice Calm Rescue & Repair Intensive Moisturiser ($29.00)

This moisturiser is my fave pick because it has EVERYTHING sensitive skin needs. Let’s start with its moisturising properties: a mix of Hyaluronic Acid, ceramides, and natural oils strengthen the skin’s protective barrier to deeply moisturise skin and protect it from environmental aggressors that could cause further harm. Plus, it has a sprinkle of oat extract to soothe irritations and calm down redness. Like that weren’t enough, you’re also getting a sprinkle of antioxidants to prevent premature aging. The icing on the cake? No fragrance or anything irritating like that.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Paula’s Choice, Selfridges, Sephora, and SpaceNK


  • Bioderma Sensibio AR ($24.90): This no-frills, fragrance-free gentle moisturiser uses mineral oil to create a protective barrier on the skin that deeply nourishes skin and prevents irritations. Plus, soothing agents to calm down redness. Available at Dermstore.
  • Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream ($49.50): Loaded with moistyrusiung shea butter to nourish dry skin, this cream has its fair share of soothing agents with antioxidant properties (think green tea and liquorice extract) to reduce redness, calm down irritations, and prevent wrinkles. Available at Boots, Clinique, Selfridges, Sephora, and Ulta.

Related: My Full Review Of Bioderma Sensibio AR

niod modulating glucosides review

Best Anti-Redness Serum: Niod Modulating Glucosides (£27.00)

Ever noticed that most anti-redness products don’t really reduce redness? Here’s why: they can’t. They’re just basic moisturisers that restore the skin’s protective barrier to protect skin from anything that could further irritate it, but have no anti-inflammatory properties themselves. Niod Modulating Glucosides takes the completely opposite approach. A skin-soother on steroids, this baby is loaded with every anti-inflammatory ingredient you’ve heard of (and plenty of which you haven’t). A lot of them also double up as antioxidants, neutralising both inflammation and free radicals (the two main causes of premature aging). If this doesn’t work for you, nothing else stands a chance.

Available at: Harrods, Niod, and Selfridges


  • First Aid Beauty Hydrating Toner With Squalane + Oats ($24.00): I’m not a huge fan of toners. Most of them only add a touch of hydration… or dry out skin. This is different. It’s packed with every skin soother you can think of to reduce irritations and redness. Available at Dermstore, Look Fantastic, Nordstrom, Sephora, and Ulta.
  • Paula’s’ Choice Calm Redness Relief Repairing Serum ($36.00): This hydrating serum contains a sprinkle of antioxidants with soothing properties to calm down skin and ceramides to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and prevent further irritations. Available at Cult Beauty, Paula’s Choice, Selfridges, Sephora, and SpaceNK.

Related: My Full Review Of Niod Modulating Glucosides

paula's choice super-light daily wrinkle defense spf 30 review

Best Sunscreen: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($35.00)

Sensitive, rosacea-prone skin? Look for a mineral sunscreen that only uses zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These white minerals are on the thick side and can leave a white cast on the skin. BUT, they’re super gentle and don’t cause irritations. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is one of my fave because it has a fairly lightweight, oil-free texture that makes it a pleasure to use. Plus, it has its fair share of niacinamide, a multitasker that hydrates skin, soothes rosacea, brightens the complexion, and even helps you treat acne. A simple, yet very powerful formula.

Available at: Dermstore


  • Badger Active Mineral Sunscreen Cream SPF 30 ($17.99): I’m not gonna lie, the sunscreen is thick and a little greasy. But it’s one of the simplest formulas I’ve found. If everything else irritates your skin, this is well worth a try – at least on hot days when sunscreen is a must. Available at iHerb.
  • Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 ($33.00): A tinted mineral sunscreens packed with antioxidants with soothing properties. It has a lightweight texture that doesn’t leave a white cast behind. Available at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Paula’s Choice, and Sephora.

Related: 3 Reasons Why Mineral Sunscreen Is Better For Sensitive Skin

the ordinary salicylic acid 2 solution

Best Exfoliant: Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant ($29.50)

What’s the best exfoliant for rosacea-prone skin? You’ll hear lots of different opinions here, but my vote goes to salicylic acid (BHA). Why? For starters, it’s gentler than AHAs like glycolic acid, so it’s unlikely to irritate skin. Plus, it exfoliates both the surface of your skin and deep inside the pores, removing any blackhead, whitehead and pimple that’s showing up on your skin. Like that weren’t enough, it has anti-inflammatory properties that calm down redness and irritation. I picked Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant because it has a lower concentration of salicylic acid than most exfoliants out there. Perfect for beginners.

Available at: Cult Beauty and Paula’s Choice


Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is Key To Spot-Free Skin

medik8 crystal retinal 6

Best For Antiaging: Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1 (£39.00)

Retinal stands for retinaldehyde, retinol’s most powerful cousin. Retinal does everything retinol does – fights free radicals, speeds up the skin’s natural exfoliating process, and boosts collagen – but more gently. Yep, even though it works better, it’s less likely to dry out and irritate your skin. The icing on the cake? Retinaldehyde can help alleviate mild rosacea, too. I recommend Medik8 Crystal Retinal because it comes in different strengths. 1 is the gentlest, while 10 is the strongest. Start with the lowest concentration a couple of times a week and build up dose slowly. FYI, as the concentration goes up, so does the price.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic, Medik8, Sephora, and SpaceNK


  • Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Oil ($45.99): This simple formula is enriched with retinal to prevent wrinkles. The oily texture moisturises skin and prevents any potential drying side effects from the retinal. Available at iHerb, Neutrogena, and Ulta.
  • Bybi Bakuchiol Booster ($10.00): If your sensitive skin can’t tolerate retinoids at all, opt for bakuchiol. A gentle alternative that delivers similar anti-aging results against wrinkles (although you need to use it more often), it slows down aging without irritating skin. Available at Boots and Look Fantastic.

Related: Is Retinaldehyde Better Than Retinol?

The Bottom Line

Having rosacea doesn’t mean that you can’t treat acne or wrinkles. While the big guns, like retinol and glycolic acid are out, there are plenty of gentler alternatives that minimise wrinkles, get rid of acne, and fade away dark spots – all while keeping your skin moisturised and reducing redness and irritations. If you were wondering what the best rosacea skincare products were, you can now add these to your shopping list.